Thoughts on books, often interpreted through the high-brow prism of cartoon (read: Archer) references. Wait! I had something for this...
Meet Gil "Hop"Hopkins — press man and all around fixer for "the nastiest, blackest-hearted team there is: Hollywood."
It was by chance (also known as the library wait list) that I landed myself back in late '40s tinsel town so soon after finishing The Black Dahlia. And the similarities don't end with location alone; as Hop chases down loose ends even the boys down at the local Hearst-owned rag office thought this sordid tale "might be Daughter of Black Dahlia." But, for Megan Abbott, I'd go almost anywhere.
The scene is set well, grime covered with layers of pancake makeup and the men upstairs running interference. For Hop, the search for some semblance of truth has tapped into something (Guilt? A conscience?) he thought he'd left behind long ago.
"Beneath the hard stare, the pancake, the waxy coat of lipstick, beneath that…hell, Hop had long ago stopped looking beneath that. Chances were too great that the underneath was worse."
And it is always so much worse...
Abbott does this breed of noir oh so well, but there was a certain feeling of intertwined closeness with the character, Hop in this case, that was lacking in comparison to the other two of hers (Dare Me, and Queenpin) I've read. I could speculate as to the gendered nature of this disconnect, but there are so many variables in the mix. In the end, my newfound love for Megan Abbott has landed her on a list of authors who I can only judge relative to their own greatness. So take this as three Megan Abbott-adjusted stars.